This Sunday, May 21st, marks the point at which the tours of two of South Africa’s most beloved and dapper sons meet. In association with music agency Black Major and Neighbourgoods Market Cape Town, the Old Biscuit Mill will play host to Petite Noir and Bongeziwe Mabandla, for what is undeniably one of the most exciting events the city has seen this year. Both of whom will be strongly basing the remainder of their respective tours on the foundations of the exciting Igoda Southern African Music Festivals Circuit.
The two internationally acclaimed artists meet at an extremely exciting time for both of them: Bongeziwe has just released his second album Mangaliso, following his 2012 debut Umlilo, and Petite Noir follows up his Southern African Noirwave tour with performances at both Afropunk Festivals in London and Paris in July. I caught up with them to see where they're at and to chat about all the things they're excited about.
Igoda Music Festivals Circuit
For both musicians, Sunday's performance forms part of their respective tours where they will meet again at Zakifo Festival in Durban on May 27th and Sakifo Festival in Reunion Island from June 2nd-4th. I asked them for some thoughts on the Igoda (meaning “knot” or “to bind together” in isiZulu) Music Festivals Circuit - to which both festivals belong: "Touring in Africa, I'm very excited for it. I have always wanted to play those festivals so I was very happy when I got the offer. I'm excited to present Noirwave to the people and inspire them to be the best that they can be," says Petite Noir.
Bongeziwe reminisces about his two previous visits to Reunion Island, while he was still growing in his musical journey: "I'm excited to go back with a new band and new music. I feel this is the right time to be back and begin my journey there. I also love the country and the warmness of the people." He goes on to express how excited he is for Durban as it's not yet a frequent destination for him and he's looking forward to the opportunity to share his new music and message with fans from the east coast city.
Afropunk, Mangaliso & New Music
In terms of other exciting things for both musicians, I asked Petite Noir what he's most excited for regarding his upcoming performances at both Afropunk Festivals in London and Paris: "I've played Afropunk before in New York. It was next level. It's a great festival. I can't wait to see what it's like in Europe!"
Bongeziwe has just released his second album, Mangaliso (meaning "Miracle" in isiXhosa), which majestically balances sonic and spiritual elements of the traditional music from his home in the Eastern Cape province with contemporary instrumentation and production. "I am filled with gratitude. I have been working on this for a while, so I'm excited to move on to the next chapter of my life. I wanted this album to represent a more mature side of me. I have grown since Umlilo and my view and perception of the world has changed. I see it in a more spiritual way. I think that is the main difference, but also the sound is a little less predictable," he articulates in response to my asking how he's feeling and what he thinks has seen the greatest shift in terms of his approach to writing the album. I followed this up by asking what his greatest focus is when translating his songs to a live performance: "I guess the main focus was to make them very recognizable, very creative and interesting. I was influenced a lot by bands like Little Dragon and the way they arrange their sets."
To sign things off, I asked them both what fans can expect for the near future. Petite Noir will be off to Europe soon and will be recording new material along the way and hints towards a release some time soon. Bongeziwe will be looking to write more music with his new band - forever representing the beautiful influences from the Eastern Cape rural landscapes.
Sunday Edition Presents at Neighbourgoods Market
Be sure to catch these two incredibly exciting and gifted musicians on Sunday in Cape Town at Sunday Edition Presents: Petite Noir x Bongeziwe Mabandla. Early Bird tickets are already sold out, so if you're looking to go you should head speedily over here to secure remaining Pre-Sale tickets. If you find yourself hella excited but not in Cape Town, check out Petite Noir and Bongeziwe Mabandla's pages for further tour info.